Plans afoot to expand the Van Dhan Yojana in the Union Territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu

New Delhi: Moving ahead with the series of State Level webinars conducted to review the progress of the implementation of the Van Dhan Yojana, TRIFED conducted an outreach session with the state teams and VDVKs of the Union Territory of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu on May 19, 2021. The main focus of the session was to plan the way forward regarding the progress of the implementation of the scheme. Attendees from the two States (SIAs, SNAs, VDVKCs) are all keyed up and geared to expand the programme from the currently sanctioned 1 VDVK cluster in the Union Territory to 10 VDVK Clusters by the end of the year.

The webinar started with an address by Shri Pravir Krishna MD, TRIFED who reiterated the need and importance of implementation of MSP For MFP Scheme, Van Dhan Yojana and other convergence projects which aid in employment and income generation for the tribal people, while keeping in mind and implementing complete safety measures during these times of the pandemic.
This was followed by a quick progress update on the status of implementation of the MSP for MFP Scheme and Van Dhan Yojana by the regional manager of the region. Based on the discussion with the participating implementing agencies, it was decided that at least 10 VDVKCs would be formed tyhis year, for which additional proposals will be submitted. 2 SFURTI clusters are also in the pipeline. It has also been agreed that the existing SHGs of the Dairy Cooperative structure in the UT will be linked with Van Dhan Yojana. Discussions regarding the prospect of developing a TRIFOOD Park and the launch of a new Tribes India outlet will also be planned.

During the meeting, it was also agreed that the five-step plan for each VDVKC would be formulated. Step 1 of the five-step plan involves the identification of items for Procurement of MFPS in each VDVKC and strengthening it with a planned development of infrastructure including Procurement Sheds and godowns. Step 2 entails the appointment of Local NGOs or NRLM Officials as Mentors for each Cluster as per guidelines issued and Release of money to each Cluster by Transferring Rs 10 lacs to each cluster account. Step 3 will require the preparation of a Business Plans for each cluster for taking up Value addition and other formalities including opening of bank account and setting up of signages and Boards for identification of each VDVK Cluster and VDVK. Step 4 envisages the Planning and facilitating of each Cluster into Production, Branding, Packaging and Sale of its selected products as per the Business Plan. And in Step 5, ESDP, SFURTI and TRIFOOD schemes will be converged with respective clusters gradually to expand the scope of programme.

The rest of the webinar was focused on the clarification of any related queries from either the State teams or the representatives of the Van Dhan Vikas Kendras or clusters. The webinar was also attended by UNICEF representatives to guide the VDVK members regarding safe practices during COVID. This will provide sustainable livelihoods to more Tribal Families based on Grants for each of the above activities as a viability gap funding for aspirational and far flung areas of the state to promote growth based on local asset base and skill sets of the people residing there.

A series of Webinars with Top Officials of the partner states across the country has taken place from May 10-May 28 2021.

The Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) and its component, Van Dhan tribal start-ups is an initiative implemented by TRIFED, Ministry of Tribal Affairs towards income and livelihood generation of the tribal population. A flagship scheme of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, drawing its strength from The Forest Rights Act of 2005, the MSP For MFP Scheme aims to provide remunerative and fair prices to tribal gatherers of forest produces, almost three times higher than would be available to them from middle men, trebling their incomes.

The Van Dhan tribal start-ups is a programme for value addition, branding & marketing of Minor Forest Produces by establishing Van Dhan Kendras to facilitate creation of sustainable livelihoods for the forest-based tribes. A typical Van Dhan Vikas Kendra includes 20 tribal members. 15 such Van Dhan Vikas Kendras form 1 Van Dhan Vikas Kendra cluster. The Van Dhan Vikas Kendra Clusters (VDVKCs) provide Van Dhan Vikas Kendras economies of scale, livelihood and market-linkages, as well as entrepreneurship opportunities.

Together, both the schemes offer a great opportunity to the tribals to improve their income and employment. To continue with the progress made in the implementation and take it to the next level, the convergence of the Van Dhan Yojana with the MSP for MFP has been planned. A way of doing that is through the convergence of the Van Dhan Yojana to the Enterprise Model: from processing to cluster development under SFURTI (Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries) and TRIFOOD.

The webinars being held in this month provided an opportunity to the State implementing agencies and the other stakeholders to connect, review and correct course of action so that maximum benefit that can be derived by the efficient implementation of these schemes accrue to the tribal population.

With the successful implementation of these planned initiatives, TRIFED is working towards the transformation of the tribal ecosystem and usher in an Amul-like revolution among the tribals across the country.